Your Road to Redemption
(Posted March 2, 2023)
In conversion you are not attached primarily to an order, nor to an institution, nor a movement, nor a set of beliefs, nor a code of action - you are attached primarily to a Person, and secondarily to these other things.&--E. Stanley Jones, pastor
Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone who is so engaging and so brilliant that the encounter immediately makes you want to talk to them some more?
Possibly they aren’t of the same religious background you are, but even so it makes you want to spend more time talking to them, to learn how they perceive the Truth. So imagine this: What if you were someone prominent in your religious community, to the extent that absolutely everyone looked up to you?
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Your First Step on the Road to Redemption
Chances are, if you truly, really needed to talk to that brilliant someone again, you’d do it --- but perhaps it would be late at night, in private, when no one else could see you.
That’s what Israel’s High Priest Nicodemus did when, after meeting Jesus and hearing him talk about being “born again,” he just had to find out for himself. He came in the dead of night to learn how something that sounded physically impossible could possibly be real.
That’s the nature of our Lenten series this year. The Road to Redemption is a rocky one,but Jesus doesn’t travel it alone. We’re right there with him, seeing his presence in our lives.
Meet the People Who Walked the Road to Redemption with Jesus
From the Second Sunday in Lent onward, Jesus chooses a companion, an average person in which he performs incredible transformations. All of these people are like us: flawed, uncertain, challenged by tragedy.
The ‘Born Again’ Thing
Our Journey to Calvary and ultimately to Easter Sunday this year will be our own, affirming Road to Redemption. This week we journey with Nicodemus. The late, great theologian Frederick Buechner, who departed life last August, wrote about Nicodemus and his confusion about how one becomes born again:
”Nicodemus said… just how were you supposed to pull a thing like that off? How especially were you supposed to pull it off if you were pushing sixty-five? How did you get born again when it was a challenge just to get out of bed in the morning? He even got a little sarcastic. Could one ‘enter a second time into the mother's womb?’ he asked (John 3:4), when it was all one could do to enter a taxi without the driver's coming around to give him a shove from behind?...A gust of wind happened to whistle down the chimney at that point, making the dying embers burst into flame, and Jesus said being born again was like that. It wasn't something you did. The wind did it. The Spirit did it. It was something that happened, for God's sake.”
If you, too, like Nicodemus wonder about that “born again” thing, join us this Sunday at 10 in person or via Facebook when we take a few more steps with Jesus on the Road to Redemption.